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Katz Programmatic Pilot Runs Spots in Boston and Buffalo

GEICO is participating in test involving Entercom stations

Here comes programmatic.

Spots are airing on Entercom stations as part of a test of a programmatic ad buying “exchange” called Expressway from Katz that is due to launch more widely to the U.S. radio industry early next year. Entercom is providing inventory in the Boston and Buffalo markets.

The announcement was by Katz Radio Group, which represents 3,000 radio stations as their agent for national spot inventory and is owned by iHeartMedia. Working with advertiser GEICO and media services agency Horizon Media, Katz announced what it described as the first live programmatic transaction for spot radio using the ad exchange.

It calls Expressway from Katz an “agnostic programmatic buying exchange” that will make radio more attractive and easier to buy for advertisers and agencies. The bnefits are said to include better audience segmentation and consumer targeting; transparency of campaign delivery through real-time monitoring; and improved efficiency. The exchange’s reporting functions show data about status of a buy, including creative execution used; number of spots run; and number of impressions delivered.

There are a lot of moving parts in all this. STRATA, which makes software for media buying and selling, built connections for Expressway from Katz to integrate with its systems. STRATA clients include Horizon Media. Horizon and Katz placed the programmatic buy and “will monitor the delivery and performance of the campaign through a cloud-based platform powered by Jelli.” The latter operates a cloud-based ad delivery technology platform that will be integrated across stations.

The involvement of GEICO is notable. It is and has been one of the biggest users of radio advertising in the U.S. Involved in the pilot is Ted Ward, GEICO’s vice president of marketing, who was quoted in the press release saying an industry-wide programmatic buying system for audio “allows us to better identify the most effective, targeted and efficient audio environments, enabling marketers to create a richer and more engaging connection with consumers.”